About Us

Our story

Founded in 1978, the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS), is the organization in Canada that is at the forefront in the celebration of Black history and heritage with a demonstrated record in the study, preservation and promotion of Black history in Ontario. The OBHS is also the only Ontario Provincial Heritage Organization of the Ministry of Culture devoted to Black history and heritage.


We are the organization responsible for initiating the formal celebration of February Black History Month at all levels of government in Canada due to our yearlong efforts to extend this celebration. (i.e. The first formal declaration of February as Black History Month with the City of Toronto in 1979; and with the Province of Ontario in 1993).


In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month, following a motion introduced by the first black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine. The motion was carried unanimously by the House of Commons.

OBHS Founders

 (Photo: Dr. Daniel G. Hill (left), Lorraine Hubbard (second from left) and Attorney General Roy McMurtry (far right)

– See more on: Freedom Seeker, the Life and times of Daniel G. Hill

Dr. Daniel Hill, Donna Hill, Wilson Brooks, Joan Kazmarski, Lorraine Hubbard and others, co-founded the Ontario Black History Society in 1978. It became the first major public organization in Canada focused on the history of Blacks in the country. Daniel Hill remained at the helm of the Society for about six years.

Daniel Hill used his social aplomb and contacts to bring the celebration of Black history into the public domain. In 1980, Toronto Mayor Art Eggleton supported the launch of a major Black history exhibit at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. Daniel Hill succeeded in discovering and unveiling a portrait of William Peyton Hubbard, a prominent Toronto Black politician in the early 20th century, who had become all but forgotten in the closing decades of the 20th century.

This photograph was taken during a reception that Attorney General Roy McMurtry held for members of the Ontario Black History Society in 1981, three years after Daniel and Donna Hill and four friends founded the organization. Attorney General’s reception for the Ontario Black History Society, February 16, 1981.

OBHS Board of Directors

President: Natasha Henry
First Vice President: Channon Oyeniran
Second Vice President: Mawuli Chai
Treasurer: Dorothy Abbott
Secretary: Kurt Lewin a.ka. Amani Ausar

Members at Large:
Linda Carter
Paulette Kelly
Paul Evans
Vernon Hendrickson
Spider Jones
Dwayne Genus